2018 IFWA Free Ride World Finals
Held in Chiba, Japan on the 2nd-4th November this was the final round for the 2018 IFWA Free Ride World Championship.
The 5th and final round was held in challenging surf conditions over the qualifying rounds. Conditions improved for the quarter finals and it was left down to the elite riders to throw down their repertoire of tricks and send it to victory.
Great to see a heavy Aussie contingent amongst the world class field out there doing what they do.
Mark Gomez with the one footed rail grab (pic via Chris Rauen)
Overall Title – Battle of the Big Guns
The overall world championship points tally leading into this event made it clear that 2 x guys were duelling out for the 2018 IFWA Freeride World Title.
Abraham Hochstrasser (83 pts) and Mark Gomez (81 pts) both had strong starts to the season and were the 2 x clear leaders after 4 rounds. A very respectable 3rd place after round 4 was Daniel Foy out of the UK sitting on 68pts which put the title just of his reach given the consistency of Mark and Abraham.
With 1 x last event and only 2pts separating arguably 2 of the best to ever do it on the Freeride World Tour it was set to be a legit battle down to the last head to head.
Both Mark and Abraham moved into the 1/4 finals with Daniel Foy losing out to Takaaki Murao in the 1/8 heats which ruled him out of the title and opened the door for an overall title podium spot for Joel Barry who continued to steam roll the back end of 2018 and push through to the 1/4’s against fellow Aussie Mick Anthony.
Mark fell to Brandon Lawlow in his 1/4, JB took down Anthony, Hugo Goirre won against Takaaki and Abraham managed to beat out Ryan Savage in his qtr (would have been a sick head to head) which ensured Abraham wold take away enough points to stay ahead of Mark for the overall World Title.
The final came down to the new 2018 IFWA World Champion (Hochstrasser) and Mr Momentum Joel Barry. Such a sick series of events to have it play out this way and there was much froth to be had.
Joel did his thing and managed to take the event win for Rd 5 Japan. With Abraham a consolation 2nd for the event but an amazing overall series win.
2018 IFWA Freeride World Champion Podium
CHAMPION – ABRAHAM HOCHSTRASSER
Massive congratulations goes out to these legends!!
We were pumped to see an all JP team rider podium for the 2018 World Titles. Abraham, Mark & Joel. Such a killer result.
Abraham at 42 years young has managed to take out this years World Title. He is an absolute sender that rips and if you don’t know him do you even know freeride?
Sit back and watch this clip of him
ABRAHAM HOCHSTRASSER – FREERIDE – NAZARE
Love him or hate him – the ever present, intensely focused and huge talent that is Mark Gomez cannot be denied. Gomez is the epitome of a world champion free rider and was pushing hard all season in an attempt to take out 4 straight World Titles. The battle was hard and the race was tight and Mark is a true professional of the IFWA.
JB kicked ass at every event. A super nice guy off the water and a boss on it. His name although not up in lights just yet is right there being cemented amongst the biggest and baddest riders on tour. Well maybe not the biggest (love you Mr Gomez – call me!!) but you get the point. We are stoked to have Joel represent Jetpilot and see him have an amazing year on tour.
JB celebrating his Final Round victory in Japan (below)
IFWA Freeride World Champions by year.
2018 – Abraham Hochstrasser, MEX 🇲🇽
2017 – Mark Gomez, USA 🇺🇸
2016 – Mark Gomez, USA 🇺🇸
2015 – Mark Gomez, USA 🇺🇸
2014 – Mick Anthony, AUS 🇦🇺
2013 – Jake Montandon, ZA 🇿🇦
2012 – Pierre Maxient, France 🇫🇷
2011 – Pierre Maxient, France 🇫🇷
2010 – Pierre Maxient, France 🇫🇷
2009 – Ross Champion, USA 🇺🇸
2008 – Ross Champion, USA 🇺🇸
2007 – Pierre Maxient, France 🇫🇷
2006 – Pierre Maxient, France 🇫🇷
2005 – Pierre Maxient, France 🇫🇷
One of the highlights of this years Freeride World Championships was the performance of the Aussies on tour.
Ryan Savage was only able to make it out to a couple events for the year and finished in 20th overall. Anyone that knows Rizz and his style of riding is aware of what he can do. He drew up against the big dogs in his heats, pushed them to the limits and even took a few down. Mad respect to this legend.
Rizz throwing a no handed barrel roll in Japan (below – pic via Chris Rauen)
Mick Anthony is not a not a new name on the scene. He is one of the most respected riders in Aus Freeride and on the IFWA tour having claimed the World Championship back in 2014. Unfortunately he had a crazy run of bad luck this year which ruled him out of 3 x qtr final heats. He still managed to take his fair share of points and finished in 5th overall.
Mick in action below (pic via Chris Rauen)
Joel Barry. He’s had a big year. A monster year actually. He might need a lay down. He has been getting it done across Australia on the domestic scene and this year he has put the international scene on notice. Given he didn’t compete at the 1st event for the year and to be standing on the podium for the World Championships is some next level stuff. The only rider to take more than 1 win on tour (Rd 4 USA and Rd 5 Japan) coupled with a 2nd in France for Rd 2 gave him enough points to take the 3rd spot beside stalwarts of the Freeride tour with Gomez and Abraham.
JB with the scarecrow flip (pic via Chris Rauen)
2019 is fitting to be a sick year for Aus Freeride.
Oh yeah – we sell some stuff too.
Words By Tex.